Homeschoolers have a reputation for frugal living, and we’re all for ways to save money – especially at our homeschool conference!
First is our list of suggested tips, then we’ve addressed some FAQs from the homeschool community below those:
1. Register at the earlybird rate!
The biggest way to save at our homeschool conference is to register early at our discount pricing. After March 18, prices rise to $75 at the door.
One exception to paying at the door is if you want our vendor-hall-only passes, which are $25 per family.
Use with caution, though, as some people have found shopping the vendor hall only without access to the workshops can be a little overwhelming!
2. Carpool and share lodging with friends.
If your friends or extended family are coming, do everything together as much as possible! Join our Facebook event page and see whether any of your friends are also planning to attend.
Parking is limited, so share cars if you can to save money.
3. Consider purchasing workshop recordings in advance.
If you pre-order all our conference workshop recordings in advance, you get a special discount!
If you prepay before 5 p.m. March 30, you can save substantially by avoiding at-the-door prices.
Just pay $49 for MP3 files of all recorded sessions if you’re an MPE member at the Family tier and higher (everyone else pays $79). You’ll receive an email with a download link about 10 days after the conference.
Go to this page to learn more.
4. Save by planning accommodation and meals in advance.
We’ve negotiated packages for conference attendees and vendors at these area hotels:
- Holiday Inn, Kansas City Airport: Adjacent to the KCI Expo Center; single king bed or double queen bed rooms are available for $99.00 + tax a night, with heated indoor pool and fitness center and free wireless internet. Please reference “Midwest Parent Educators” to get the discount rate. Deadline for this rate is extended to March 11. For reservations, call (816) 801 8400.
- Fairfield Inn Kansas City Airport: Within walking distance; single king bed or double queen bed rooms are available for $99.00 + tax a night, with complimentary hot breakfast, heated indoor pool and fitness room and free wireless internet. Deadline for this rate is Thursday, March 17, 2022. Please use this link for the group discount and reference “Midwest Parent Educators” when making your reservations.
- Orangewood Inn & Suites, formerly Sure Stay (11828 NW Plaza Cir, Kansas City, MO 64153): Room rate is $79.99 + taxes per room per night for up to 4 people. There will be an incidental deposit of $50.00 per room at time of check in, which will be released to the guest’s bank on date of check out, providing there are no damages to hotel property and the guest’s bank policies govern when it will be available in the account. Check in begins at 3 p.m. and check out is by 11 a.m. Fitness Center and Business Center are available 24/7. Breakfast is included. Pool hours are 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily (children 13 and under must be accompanied by an adult). Please reference “MPE” or “Midwest Parent Educators” to get the discounted rate. For reservations, call (816) 464-2423.
No outside food is allowed to be brought into the KCI Expo Center according to their policies. Food purchased inside the KCI Expo Center (from vending machines or the cafeteria) is allowed. The cafeteria is located off the main Lobby. Cafeteria Hours: Friday 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
5. Plan your curriculum purchases.
If you have a shopping plan before you hit the vendor hall, chances are you can save on a lot of unnecessary spending.
Here are other suggestions from our Facebook audience:
- “If the weather is nice, pack a lunch and picnic outside rather than going out for lunch. Make a list of curriculum and extras you plan to purchase and stick to it. Use the extra money you saved by not going to lunch and purchase curriculum from the vendors who answered your questions and invested their time in helping you, even if you could get the same materials for less money online.”
- “Come with a list including online prices so you can compare. Be sure to include whether or not you will pay shipping from your online sites.”
- “Research books/curricula online and check the MPE site for the vendors map to make a plan. Make a list of what you’re looking for and have a budget. Pay with cash. Some vendors offer conference discounts (like HSLDA) you’ll want to take advantage of.”
- “Keep a list of what interests you along with prices and then decide what to buy and what to wait for before going in on the last day. And bringing an empty suitcase on wheels is not only totally acceptable it is wise!”
6. Explore your childcare options.
Our fantastic MPEKids program cares for children ages 5-12 (4-year-olds can join if they come with an older sibling) while their parents attend the conference.
Every child after the first two is free to register!
If your children are 13 or older, they are welcome to volunteer at the conference.
7. Check social media for giveaways and scavenger hunts.
Keep an eye out for special deals that come up on our social media accounts and through our email newsletters.
For example, vendors can introduce last-minute scavenger hunts that result in winners claiming a gift certificate that’s applicable toward any booth in the vendor hall!
Below is a list of FAQs for people wanting to save on registration:
I don’t live in the Kansas City area and only want to attend the conference, not become an MPE member. Is there a discount for that?
We don’t have a discount on registration if you live outside the Kansas City area. We already do our best to keep registration fees low, and we think you’ll find our earlybird rate of $50 per family a bargain anywhere in the United States!
We have many reasons for combining membership with conference attendance. Some of the most important ones:
- It helps us reduce paperwork and keep administrative costs low.
- As a nonprofit organization, the conference helps us raise much of the revenue that keeps us in operation (and allows us to continue serving our members!).
- Even if you don’t live in the Kansas City area, you may still be able to enjoy many of our member benefits, such as a discount off HSLDA membership, participation in our high school graduation ceremony, access to state and area support groups in different counties, and annual events.
Can I attend the conference for only one day and pay half-price?
Unfortunately, no. We have already cut registration to $50 per family if you sign up in advance.
We have minimal office staff to process registrations, and each variation that we add to registration means more work and costs to process everyone in time.
Do you have other suggestions on how to save money at the conference? Let us know in the comments!